Arrival in Kasungu Town, Tatalalie Guest House

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Africa » Malawi » Central » Kasungu
November 17th 2012
Published: November 23rd 2012
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Gentry and Blessings found me the best resthouse to stay in. When I said I really liked it I heard Blessings breath a sigh of relief. It’s an example of how hospitable and caring they really are. It’s very clean and well presented. Erin the guest house lady is so very welcoming and kind. Although, I’ve learnt not to trust anything that’s attached to a wall! Oh and having power is a privilege too! Tonight the power has been off for 3 hours already. Thankfully my laptop is charged!

During my chat with Erin she asked me ‘How’s Kate Middleton and do I like Mr Cameron’. We chatted for a while about life in Malawi and made some comparisons to the UK. I asked Erin what wild animals she’d seen in Malawi and I was astonished by her response – none. Seriously? They live on the edge of a national park (45 minutes drive) but can’t afford transport there. You can only go by private vehicle as there is no public transport. She asked me what animals we have living in the bush in the UK. I tried to explain the concept of zoos and safari parks, but I don’t
Walk to workWalk to workWalk to work

The way I walk to work if I can't get a bicycle taxi!
think it was understood. I spoke to Gentry about this too and he said the priority for many Malawians is putting food on the table, not taking days out to see the animals!

Gentry and Blessings picked me up this morning and took me on a tour of Kasungu. I was interested to find out how I would be transported and quickly discovered it was by my own two feet! Fuel in Malawi is extremely expensive for them. They pay over £1 pound per litre. To give you an idea of how expensive that is; my accommodation costs £14 per night including breakfast, meals cost between £1 and £2, I bought a mobile phone today for £6 and topped up with £1 credit. It cost me 0.04p to send a text to the UK. So there are very few people here that have transport that require fuel!

Kasungu town is teaming with people, children, animals and shops! I don’t think there is anything you can’t buy here. Oh, apart from a dongle with Internet Access, as they’ve sold out! It’s like when Karl Pilkington (Idiot Abroad) went to India and he said his eyes were hurting because they’re
The first guest houseThe first guest houseThe first guest house

This is the only picture I got unfortunately
so busy! I actually can’t remember everything I’ve seen. To give you a taste, ladies carrying things on their heads, ladies breast feeding as they walk, men working outside their shops, cattle pulling carts, donkeys pulling carts, Reggie music blaring out from the shops, dogs, goats, chickens….Oh and a lady riding a motor cycle which Gentry thought was highly amusing. He asked me if ladies ride bikes in the UK and was very surprised when I said yes, usually for leisure!

There are hundreds of people in the street and then me! People do look, but it’s not the first time they’ve seen a white person so generally they don’t stare too much. I have had a few men calling but I’ve decided not to ask what they’re saying, I’d rather not know. On the whole they seem very warm and friendly people.

We ended our day by talking a bicycle taxi to a ‘posh hotel’ at the end of the town. The taxi cost around 10 pence! I think I’ll be making regular use of them as it’s far too hot to walk here.

There happened to be a nursery school using the hotel grounds with
Blessings and GentryBlessings and GentryBlessings and Gentry

Lovely kind people. Blessings is a Man United fan!
around 30 under 5s having a lot of fun! Apparently the hotel are making memories for them whilst also using to material for a part of their promotional video. As soon as they saw me the teacher asked them all to greet me in English ‘Hello, how are you’ they all sung in chorus. I responded ‘I’m fine thanks’ to which they responded 'I’m fine thanks'. It was the cutest thing ever. The school teacher was amazing. She had complete control of every single child single handedly! During free play they all started to roll around the grass in my direction until they could get a really good look. A little girl so bravely said ‘Hello, how are you’ and then ran away!

Finally during the day I was questioned about population sizes in each of the countries in the UK, languages spoken in each country, which of those languages I speak, how the politics works for each country and how the main government are elected and my religion. Hmmm no comment!

Another day tomorrow. They all go to church so I’ll be on my own all day. I’ll be hand washing my clothes and chilling all day. I may even venture out on my own as I can’t hibernate for 3 weeks!

I didn’t expect to have so much to write about! Thanks for reading. Off to get my head torch now and prepare my mozzy net!


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